How COVID Affected the Educational System

27/09/2021

It’s no question that COVID affected the world and changed the very way we live, and Malaysia’s educational system is no exception!

Malaysia has been balancing precariously on a fulcrum:  on one hand, we have needed to keep ourselves and others safe by being socially distant.  On the other, the cost of this safety has affected the workforce, economy, and the educational system.  It is uncertain how much of an impact school closures has had on our children’s education, but we have a feeling we are about to find out!

Phase two schools are getting ready to open on October 3rd with 50% capacity.  This includes special needs schools as well as examination classes like Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), pre-university and sports schools.  Phase 1 schools, however, are to remain closed.

The new school year will open on October 3 and last until December 9, 2021, after which students will progress onto the next academic year in March 2022.  This three-month holiday from January to March 2022 will be for the ministry to evaluate the proficiency level of students based on their examination results.  And while they research local stats, we’ve taken the liberty of researching what other statistics are already available from other countries!

 

STATISTICS:  How COVID Affected Educational Systems the World Over

According to UNICEF, children are not the face of this pandemic, but they risk being among its biggest victims.  For the poorest families, including those who do not have access to social protection, the situation is dire. The global socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic could push 142 million more children into monetary poor households in developing countries, according to projections as of November 2020.

The total number of children living in poor households globally could reach just over 725 million. Nearly two-thirds of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

 

How Has COVID Affected Learning?

Example 1:

We use a natural experiment that occurred in The Netherlands:  examinations took place before and after lockdown to evaluate the impact of school closures on students’ learning. The Netherlands is interesting as a “best-case” scenario for several reasons:

  1.   they had a short lockdown,
  2. they had higher-than-average school funding, and
  3. world-leading rates of broadband access.

Despite these favorable conditions, we find that students made little or no progress while learning from home. Additionally, learning loss was most pronounced among students from disadvantaged homes.

 

Example 2:

In a study conducted on behalf of Annenberg Brown University, researchers analyzed a national sample of 5 million students in grades 3–8 in the United States who took the MAP Growth test.  This is a tool American schools use to assess students’ reading and math growth throughout the school year. The researchers compared typical growth in a standard-length school year to projections based on students being out of school from mid-March on. To make those projections, they looked at research on the summer slide, weather- and disaster-related closures (such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina), and absenteeism.

The researchers predict that, on average, students will experience substantial drops in reading and math, losing roughly three months’ worth of gains in reading and five months’ worth of gains in math. For Megan Kuhfeld, the lead author of the study, the biggest takeaway isn’t that learning loss will happen—that’s a given by this point—but that students will come back to school having declined at vastly different rates.

At this point, the students that seem to have the smallest educational gap are those that

  1. are in families with a higher income,
  2. read regularly (either fiction or non-fiction),
  3. have steady access to computers and the internet.

Whatever the future holds, we are confident we will figure it out together.  Remember, we Malaysians stand united but separated!

 

About Little Human Scholars Preschool in PJ

Little Human Scholars is an all-in-one childcare solution.  It is a preschool, playschool, kindergarten, nursery and full-day daycare centre (with extended hours) located in the heart of PJ.

In fact, the location is one of the things which makes Little Human Scholars so sought after – it is conveniently nestled near Jalan Gasing, University hospital, PJ Old town, PJ New town, Jaya One, Jaya33, and the PJ IT Mall.

The best part is LHS school in PJ has premiere services many other schools in PJ don’t offer such as full-day daycare with extended hours, CCTV access for parents, and a nifty little phone app that provides parents with automatic updates on their child’s development, behaviour and health checks.

With full-time guards always present at each of their locations, access to CCTV (which is in every room except the office, bathroom and kitchen areas), and very strict pick-up and drop-off rules, Little Human Scholars treats every child who walks into its hallways as one of their own children!

This place has it all:  location, safety, health, IGSCE curriculum and play-based learning.  What more could you ask for?  Did I mention they also have transportation services and offer meal plans for students?  It doesn’t get any better than that.

If you are interested in a tour of one of our centres (that’s right, there’s more than one), all you need to do is fill out the form here or call +6017-7303-025 and an LHS administrative staff will get back with you shortly!

 

Cheers,

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